One Page At a Time

How do you write a book? One page at a time.

How do live a life? One day at a time, one breath at a time. Live in the moment of what you are doing.

A great man we know recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. He lit up a room and always had a smile. But more than anything, no one could ever forget his gift for storytelling.

My husband had this man as a scout leader when he was a kid. He always tells me about the creepy stories he would tell around the fire, so detailed, they had to be true. When our kids met this man for the first time at an outdoor party, he enthralled them that evening with a charisma that made his eyes sparkle.

Thirty years after boy scout camp, my husband passes these stories down to our kids and their friends while gathered around the sparks of a crackling fire in the dark of woods. They’ve become legendary.

Stories live on beyond us, transcending time.

Stories of your childhood. Stories from college (probably needs some filtering;). How you met your spouse and how he/she proposed. Our kids love hearing about the time Freddy & I got kicked out of Arizona. Yes, the state.

So, the problem for me is I have the worst. memory. ever. When I run into old friends from high school, sadly, they’ll ask me “Do you remember the time…” and unfortunately, I don’t. I blame the busyness of three kids, three pregnancies, a few too many drinks during some of the events… but the fact is, if you are not one of the fortunate people who have intricate memories, it is worthwhile to journal.

I admit, I don’t. But, there are a few stories I really want the kids to know and pass down. I have a book of stories passed down from my great-great-great grandparents who immigrated here from Norway and Ireland. Seriously. My one great- great-great grandmother traveled here by ship for almost a month with somewhere around 7-9 young kids. No wonder she looks angry and worn out in every picture. Never smiles.

Anyway, someday, we will be somebody’s great-great-great and they might see a picture and wonder, what were these people like? What’d they do in their lives besides take a massive amount of selfies? How does their history shape who I am and what I like to do?

A writing teacher liberated me from the idea of writing down massive entries and details. ugh. He advised to write about a feeling. Make it a sensory entry from the day. This is your life story. Make it how you want.

Because, in the end, thin sheets are what make a book.